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Americans choose drugs over talk


Depressed Americans prefer medication to talk therapy for their condition, a poll has shown.

Research by US magazine Consumer Reports found that 80% of people with depression took medication, the most popular class being so-called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) such as Prozac.

While participants said that talking to psychologists and psychotherapists also helped, it took seven or eight sessions to generate the same results as popping a pill.

Patients taking SSRIs, which include fluoxetine, sertraline, citalopram, reported the highest levels of happiness.

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Newer and pricier antidepressants were less popular because of side-effects. Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors such as venlafaxine and duloxetine scored particularly poorly on this measure.

While the most common unwanted effect – loss of sexual interest or ability – cropped up in the study, it was less common that in past surveys.

A total of 1,500 people were polled for the investigation.

Copyright Press Association 2010
Consumer Reports

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